PHILADELPHIA – Coming off its Ivy League opener at Princeton last weekend, the University of Pennsylvania men’s tennis team (8-6, 0-1 Ivy) will make the trek up to Brown on Saturday and Yale on Sunday, hoping to nab two key conference wins. Both matches will begin at 2 p.m.
The Bears (11-6) got off to a bit of a rocky start, but have since won eight of their last nine matches. They have been a force at home, going 7-0 thus far at the Pizzitola Center. William Spector has been huge for Brown lately, winning both his matches last weekend while playing No.2 doubles and singles.
The Bulldogs (14-3) enter the weekend ranked No. 54 in the country after extending their winning streak to four with a 5-2 victory over St. John’s. Entering the weekend, Yale has won ten of its past eleven matches. Like the Bears, Yale is unblemished at home, taking all eight matches. Daniel Hoffman and Zack Dean have each won their last four singles matches, while the doubles team of Hoffman and Marc Powers has been ranked as high as 74th nationally.
The Quakers dropped a heartbreaker to No. 52 Princeton last weekend, 4-3. Though the Red and Blue lost all three doubles matches, they split six singles matches with the Tigers, showing that they’re capable of playing with anyone in the Ancient Eight. Jeremy Court, Blaine Willenborg and Zach Katz were all victorious for Penn, with Willenborg winning his second straight match and third in his last four.
After being on the road for five straight, Penn finally returns home next weekend to take on Dartmouth on April 13 and Harvard on April 14. Both matches will begin at 2 p.m. and will be played outdoors if the weather allows.
The Series with Brown
Overall:Penn leads, 38-19
First Meeting:The Quakers lost at Brown, 6-3, in 1958
Last Meeting: In 2012, the Quakers won at home by a score of 4-3
Notables: Penn has won the last three match-ups against the Bears by a 4-3 margin ... Nikola Kocovic, Court and Katz were victorious in singles, while Brown won all three doubles matches in 2012 … Penn trailed 3-1 at one point a year ago, before rallying with three three-set victories to complete the comeback.
The Series with Yale
Overall:Yale leads 64-25
First Meeting:The Quakers lost in 1912, 9-0
Last Meeting: In 2012, the Quakers lost at home by a score of 5-2.
Last Penn Win:Penn’s last win over Yale came at home in 2008, winning in dominant fashion, 6-1.
Notables: Yale has taken the last four meetings, winning the most recent three all by a score of 5-2 … Returners Court and Katz were both victorious in singles last year, Court winning at No. 5 (6-2, 6-2) and Katz at No. 6 (7-5, 6-3) … Those two also combined for a No. 3 doubles victory, winning 8-4.